After holding a slim 33-31 lead at halftime, the USA Men’s U19 World Cup Team pulled away from Germany early in the third quarter for an 81-59 victory in the quarterfinals of the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup in Cairo, Egypt, on Friday afternoon.
With USA trailing 37-35 in the third quarter, Kentucky freshman Hamidou Diallo (Queens, N.Y.) dunked at 7:25 to even the score at 37-all. That spurred a 11-0 run by the U.S., which included five points from Austin Wiley (Auburn/Hoover, Ala.).
The Americans pushed their lead to 56-41 at the end of the third quarter for a 23-10 scoring advantage out of the halftime break and won the fourth quarter 25-18 for the game’s final.
“Here’s what happens — you have teams that are going to play with such high intensity and focus, it’s just can they do it for 40 minutes?” USA Coach John Calipari said of Germany’s first half success. “The way we are doing this, when we are playing 10 or 11 kids and they are playing 22 or 18 minutes, you just keep coming at people in waves. We don’t have any weak links on this team. We just don’t. What I’m seeing right now is us pressuring them, and at some point, they will back off. … The beginning of the game, I thought there wasn’t enough intensity, so we put in that second group, and wow, they did it again. It was great to see.”
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The win advances USA (5-0) to advance to Saturday’s medal semifinals (time TBD), where it will face Canada (4-1). The game will be available live online on ESPN3.
Wiley led USA with a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Carsen Edwards (Purdue/Atascocita, Texas), the only other U.S. player to score in double digits, scored 12 points to go with four boards and four assists.
“Edwards was the one guy that went in and changed the game because of his intensity, and he was dragging people with him,” Calipari said.
Diallo and fellow UK freshman PJ Washington had been major contributors to the team’s success thus far, but were below their averages against Germany. Diallo finished with eight points with two assists, while Washington, who led all scorers in the team’s last outing, was limited to three points and two rebounds. Both committed three personal fouls.
The USA dished out 20 assists, led by five from Cameron Reddish (Westtown School/Norristown, Pa.), who also contributed seven points, six rebounds and three of the team’s 14 steals.
“In the beginning, they had a guy that was making every shot he took, so we knew he had to come out in the second half and stop him from getting those shots up,” Reddish said of Germany’s Ferdinand Zylka, who scored 13 of his 20 points in the first half. “As soon as we got out there in the second half, we got a few steals and a few dunks, and we knew we had the momentum going for us, and we just had to keep pushing it.”
USA outrebounded Germany 44-37, outscored Germany (3-2) in the paint 56-36, scored 20 points off of 23 turnovers and had 16 second-chance points. Further, USA’s bench outscored Germany by a whopping 39-7 margin.
In other medal quarterfinal games, Canada defeated France (4-1) 73-67, Italy (4-1) edged Lithuania (4-1) 73-68 and Spain (5-0) topped Argentina (3-2) 70-58.
Wynyard steps up
Wynyard’s New Zealand team advanced in consolation play with an 87-63 victory over Mali on Friday.
Wynyard led the way with 17 points, 13 rebounds, three assists and a block in 24 minutes of action. He made eight of his 11 shot attempts from the field.
Watch a replay of the game below:
FIBA U19 World Cup
What: Sixteen-country basketball tournament
When: Through Sunday
Where: Cairo, Egypt
Team USA schedule
All times EDT
July 1: USA 108, Iran 48
July 2: USA 109, Angola 68
July 3: Off
July 4: USA 98, Italy 65
July 5: USA 117, Mali 69
July 6: Off
July 7: USA 81, Germany 59
July 8: Semifinals (Times TBA)
July 9: Gold medal game, 12:30 p.m.; Bronze medal game, 10 a.m.
Friday’s quarterfinal results
Teams listed in bracketed order with group-play records
(All times EDT)
Canada 73, France 67
USA 81, Germany 59
Spain 70, Argentina 58
Italy 73, Lithuania 68
4 Payton Pritchard, 6-2, G (Oregon)
5 Immanuel Quickley, 6-3, G (High school)
6 Carsen Edwards, 6-0, G (Purdue)
7 Cameron Reddish, 6-7, G (High school)
8 Hamidou Diallo, 6-5, G (Kentucky)
9 Josh Okogie, 6-4, G (Georgia Tech)
10 Kevin Huerter, 6-6, F (Maryland)
11 Louis King, 6-8, F (High school)
12 Austin Wiley, 6-9, C (Auburn)
13 Romeo Langford, 6-6, G (High school)
14 PJ Washington, 6-8, F (Kentucky)
15 Brandon McCoy, 6-11, F/C (UNLV)